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Buc-ee’s approved for first North Carolina location

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(The Center Square) – Unanimous in changing a zoning designation, a North Carolina city has approved entrance to the market of a popular southeastern chain that is combination country store, gas and electric vehicle station.

The city council in Mebane, an Alamance County town between Greensboro and Durham, gave approval for Buc-ee’s to open its first location in the state. The decision comes through approving heavy manufacturing zoning within the G-1 Industrial Growth Area, signaling compliance with the 2017 Comprehensive Land Development Plan Mebane By Design.

Buc-ee’s will be at 1425 Trollingwood-Hawfields Road, just off Exit 152 of Interstates 40 and 85. The site plan calls for a building of about 75,000 square feet, more than 100 fueling stations and capacity for better than 600 vehicles.

Taxpayers will be impacted by increased land value and sales tax gains, and expenditures for infrastructure. No construction start date has been announced.

Buc-ee’s is intentionally not for 18-wheelers. It has no fueling stations for semis and driveways and parking lots are not built for them. The exit where eight lanes of interstate traffic flow already has a Love’s and a Pilot Flying J.

The I-40/85 concurrency runs about 40 miles between Hillsborough and Greensboro. Headquartered in Texas, the chain is also in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri.

The project has generated great discussion and significant support and criticism. Traffic, environment and shopping local are among the chief complaints; economic growth – even novelty tourism – without being just another warehouse kind of build is among the praises.

Mebane – population about 17,000 with recent annual growth of about 10% – is a city council, city manager style of government. Candidates for the council are elected nonpartisan. Sean Ewing and Katie Burkholder, both registered Democrats, won election in November; Democrats Tim Bradley and Montreena Hadley, and the unaffiliated Jonathan White won election in November 2021.

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